Buhari Democracy Speech: Time To Jettison Politics of Acrimony

By Peter Inaolaji

The Nigerian sovereign nation is in her 8th process as a federal republic with the present administration of President Mohammadu Buhari its incumbent head of State and Commander-In-Chief Of The Armed Forces. However, for the country to move forward in its economic evolution and nation building, some of its elder statesmen and respected political gladiators must stop fuelling embers of hate and jettison politics of acrimony at all cost, otherwise the country might be sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode any moment.

The need to issue this warning is precipitated on the appalling back lash that greeted the President’s Democracy Day broadcast no sooner the speech was delivered and this is what informed my curiosity to take my time to listen and look at the speech with a critical reasoning devoid of partisan politicking.

Without being immodest, I am not into partisan politics and I must say that, though, the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is far from being the best or near perfection, it is still one of the best eras to happen to civil rule in this part of the divide, far more than his predecessors and I’ll support this with facts and figures as well as what I see as reasons behind the frantic efforts to Pull Him Down-PHD Syndrome, by any means necessary.

First and foremost, it is a known fact that CORRUPTION remains the biggest war to combat in the world as graft gangsters are wont to fight back on a large scale, it’s even more dangerous than the drug war, so it is not surprising that, those who’re supposed to support this administration in waging the war against the hydra headed plague are the ones intimidating the C-in-C.

I’ve read international newspapers and as a keen observer of world politics, I doubt if there’s anywhere where political godfathers, past leaders and respected elderstatesmen have been directly involved in heated altercation or any form of Pull Him Down campaign against same government they were once in charge, it is the highest form of mutiny against national productivity, no nation succeeds without the moral, spiritual and emotional supports of its founding fathers and old compatriots, the Nigerian nation is in a sorry state of affairs at the moment.

What this has shown in essence is that, there are no true elderstatesmen in this country, everyone lives by selfish desire to milk it dry, it is sure a dramatic presentation of one of Shakespeare’s quotes in one of his books, ”as flies to the wanton boys, so are we to the gods, they kill us for their sports”. All they’re after is their selfish desire obviously otherwise, there’s no reason for public outcry and challenge against the government in power and if there must be it shouldn’t be this embarrassing.

And as if the President knew what these fourth columnists are capable of doing, the man had, in one of his end paragraphs offered olive trees for perceived enemies when he said and I quote, ” My dear country men and women, as we all celebrate our democratic experience, let us resolve to avoid hatred and intolerance; we can only achieve our objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence”. What else can a passionate elderstatesman who’s burning with a desire to rid the nation of corrupt practices and good for nothing elements need to do to calm frayed nerves.

A lot of negativities have characterized his May 29th nationwide broadcast by bad losers, economy pilfers and detractors even though most of them are off-points and cheap assertions aimed at playing dirty politics in their desperate attempts to curry favour and seeking political relevance for the forthcoming 2019 elections.

As a public analyst of note, I have taken time to peruse the democracy speech and had found nothing to fault but a message of genuine love and passion to serve from a passionate compatriot.

By and large, the body of the speech is laden with truths and spirit of continuity, for instance, the President, in one of his paragraphs never claimed the glory of FAA Cat 1 status as asserted by detractors, the man gave credence to his predecessor when he said, ”As a result of strict regulatory and compliance policies, Nigeria retained her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine international audit. Recently, a new Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility with capacity for aircraft C-checks and other comprehensive levels of maintenance was established in Lagos. This would save the country an estimated $90m annually”. In this particular instance, the word, ‘retained’ is nothing but giving credence to status quo as regards the past government.

In another of their miscalculated attempts to discredit the President and score cheap political point, these good for nothing political desperadoes missed it again when they try to politicise the construction of the second Niger Bridge which is strictly a continuity of what a reasonably conservative government should embark on for the sake of the masses.

We don’t need a soothsayer to  know that, the level of decay left behind by the past governments of 16 years cannot be overcome in a hurry, slow and steady, like they say win the race, Nigerians, most especially the youths will need to open their thinking faculty to be able to differentiate political jobbers from objective political fathers.

In my submission, there’s no way a wounded lion won’t fight back at all cost because these economic looters can’t still overcome the reality that befell them from the creation of the Treasury Single Account-TSA, a unique monetary policy that has denied most of them access to some of the looted funds stashed away in various banks and as if that’s not enough, the Whistle-Blowing Policy which has also helped the country to recover over N500 Billion remains a nightmare to beat.

Need we say more, the Niger Delta Region has enjoyed relative peace through social inclusiveness and cooperation of the Elders and the good people of the region. This Government has been committed to implementing the comprehensive peace, security and development plan for the region and the whole nation. The environmental clean-up of the region which commenced with the launch in Bodo, Ogoni in June 2016 is progressing satisfactorily. Furthermore, farming assets are being revived and investors in cocoa and palm oil plantations are showing serious interest.

And in what seems like the last straw that broke the camel’s back, ” Our foreign reserve has improved significantly to 47.5 billion USD as of May, 2018 as against 29.6 billion USD in 2015. The inflationary rate has consistently declined every month since January, 2017.

Recently, Government conducted Focus Labs in three key sectors of the Economy namely, Agriculture & Transport, Manufacturing and Processing as well as Power and Gas. These have yielded significant prospects for investments and Job creation to the tune of US$ 22.5 billion with a potential for creating more than 500,000 jobs by 2020. These investment generation initiatives are expected to increase capital inflows in the form of foreign direct investment. There is a high prospect that the cumulative investments from this first phase of the Labs will hit US$39.2 billion by 2025.

Under agriculture, Nigeria continues to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimization of import dependency. As a result, rice importation from other countries has been cut down by 90% which has a direct impact on foreign reserves.

The Social Investment Programmes (SIP) has been created as a means to graduating our citizens from poverty through capacity building, investment and direct support. The major strategic objective is to restore livelihood, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor across the country. The SIP programmes and projects include:

Home Grown School Feeding Programme – About 8.2 million pupils are currently being fed from 24 States of the Federation with over 75,000 Catering Staff engaged under the programme.

The Conditional Cash Transfer has so far recorded over 297,000 caregivers and being trained by 2,495 Community Facilitators in 21 states. Less privileged Nigerians are now being paid N5,000 monthly stipend in 9 pilot States of Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo. Eventually the scheme will cover all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.

These are what might have form a yardstick of hatred for this administration of Mohammadu Buhari and instead of joining hands to run a government of unity, and transparency, they all seat in the four walls of their cozy living rooms to throw stones, an abomination for those who live in glass houses.

Peter Inaolaji, a political analysis, observer and social commentator writes from Jos

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